Edwin Priest
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Thanksgiving is around the corner with another after dinner session of Uno likely to be on the dessert menu again. I am hoping to introduce this group to something new, and have in my possession Bang! and Bohnanza. My immediate family of four has played each of these twice, and, although my 13yo son is vociferously against Bohnanza, I am seeking some options from others more experienced than I in these matters. I have read with some interest the session reports describing difficulties getting non-gamers up and running with Bang! Any advice: Bang! vs. Bohnanza for this multi-generational family group?
 
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Cynthia Landon
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The great thing about Bang is that you often don't have to play long because you can actually get "killed" before you even have one turn! Then you can go do something that is actually fun.

Seriously... we have tried 3 times with my family (8 people) and each time my mom almost ended up in tears because see was killed first (in the beginning) and had to sit and watch other people play for 2 hours. She refuses to play ever again and I don't blame her. It was not fun and I wouldn't think it would make for a nice Thanksgiving.

Bohnanza can get old after you play it a ton of times but isn't bad for a while especially with new people if they can get over the silly theme. My family loves it.
 
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Iain K
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Bohnanza is a much better game for a family gathering IMHO. Consider, it's a win-win game, everyone's involved in the game - wheeling and dealing, and it's non confrontational.

Bang is a good game, but the rules and rule exceptions are much more involved, a player's level of enjoyment can hinge on their character and role - both of which are random, and it's confrontational.

 
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Thies Kolln
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I actually have both along for my Thanksgiving trip right now. Personally I'm not a fan of Bohnanza, although that puts me in a small minority here. That said, Bohnanza is probably more accessible for a mixed group. Bang! can be great fun, but only with the right group that can get into it. If the non-gamers are willing, it would probably work, but you can't force this on them. From my limited experience, I'd also suggest 6 nimmt/Category 5 or Diamant.
 
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Chris Talbot
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Oddly enough, I had a better reaction from non-gamers with Bang than with Bohnanza. I think it might have been the theme that really helped everyone get into Bang, but personally, I think Bang is a far better game. At least, I enjoy it more.

Chris
 
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JessA
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I think you should start with Bohnanza, too. Maybe they'll be up for another new game afterwards and then you could try Bang!

If you do try Bohnanza, I strongly suggest you print up some copies of simonh's excellent player mat. This makes the game much easier to teach.

here's the link and a photo of it: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/fileinfo.php?fileid=11967

 
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Mike Harris
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Man it seems that everyone hates Bang!.

I think that with some non-gamers Bohnanza would go over better. Bang!'s distance rules and symbols would turn off non-gamers, but they may enjoy shooting each other.

You could always bring both.
 
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Christian Killoran
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Both games have the potential to impress and/or turn off members of your group. Why not bring both, and after playing a game of Uno ask if players are interested in playing a new game? Throw down both boxes and describe them as follows:

Bang! is a card game that re-creates a spaghetti western gunfight. Everybody takes the role of a gunfighter with a secret job and tries to shoot the right people.

Bohnanza is a card game where you try to make the most money by trading and harvesting different kinds of beans.

If the majority of the group seems attracted to one of them, play that one. Accept that your group may not be interested in either game. Forcing any game on uninterested players is a recipe for failure. Personally, my most successful "silly card game" with multi-generational players has been Frank's Zoo, but even that has been too different for some of my older relations.

FWIW, when I am going to be with a group of Uno players, I bring along a copy of Uno: Attack! There's something about the russian roulette quality of this game that makes it far more fun (for me) than regular Uno, and Uno players already know how to play for the most part.
 
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Ken B.
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Bohnanza is the better game for non-gamers. Feels very close to a "regular" card game.

Bang! is much more targeted toward what feels like the CCG audience. Variable character cards, variable roles, range, weapons and other cards having continuous "effects"...feels a lot like a stripped down CCG to me. It's fun, but I think only with that crowd.

There certainly *is* a lot of Bang! hate here, but I give it a thumbs up if you think those "non-gamers" have even an ounce of that type of CCG-gamer in them. If not, go with Bohnanza.
 
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M. Shanmugasundaram
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cynthialandon wrote:
The great thing about Bang is that you often don't have to play long because you can actually get "killed" before you even have one turn! Then you can go do something that is actually fun.

Seriously... we have tried 3 times with my family (8 people) and each time my mom almost ended up in tears because see was killed first (in the beginning) and had to sit and watch other people play for 2 hours. She refuses to play ever again and I don't blame her. It was not fun and I wouldn't think it would make for a nice Thanksgiving.


First of all, you are right to not play a particular game if all the players don't enjoy it. The point is to have fun. Having prefaced my post with, "You are correct," hopefully I have tempered the rest of my post. So...

Are you serious?

No offense to you, your family, or your mom...but Bang! is a game about shooting people. When you shoot people, eventually someone dies.
Someone's got to die first. How can you walk into the game with this expectation and then get upset, even if you're first to be knocked out three times in a row?

And EVERYONE else played the game for 2 hours? If two or more people get knocked out, they should have the opportunity/freedom to start up another game if they get bored.

Why are people targeting a single player? Why doesn't that player just take revenge next time, and take it in good stride if it backfires? (I don't need answers to these questions, but they did pop into my head.) Half of the enjoyment of Bang is kibitzing and goading/taunting the survivors. You don't need to have a hand of cards to do that.

There's also a Ghost Town card in High Noon, I think. People who get knocked out can keep playing under that rules variant.

I hate getting bad cards in a card game, but it happens. My last game of Wyatt Earp was VERY discouraging. I couldn't get cards to save my life. I think I ended the game with less than 10K (a deplorable score). I kept playing, but my heart wasn't in the game. I do know how that feels. But hands don't stay that bad -- ever.

As far as Thanksgiving goes, family members who want to get upset will find any excuse to do so. We played Monopoly two years ago, I think. I'll never do it again with that group. Gah. People stepping out and giving all their cards to their kids. People promising non-game stuff to people in exchange for stuff within the game. Seriously. One of many reasons why I hate that game intrinsically.

Bottom line: Bang! is a blast. But don't walk in with any false expectations about lasting the entire play session. The cards are too fickle for that.

Suitability for Thanksgiving? Depends on your family's temperament.

Just like any other game.
 
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Scott
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I've had success with both (although I hate, hate, hate Bohnanza). I got a slightly better response with Bang! but I'd say bring both-they're short. If it doesn't work you can always bust out a fun party game like Cranium or Times Up.
 
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I've had great success with bohnanza. My family ask about it each time i visit. I tried Bang! with them one year, and they all didn't think much of it. They did however like Franks Zoo, No Thanks! and Coloretto quite a bit.
 
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Robin
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Bang! did not go over well with my in-laws. There was some confusion about who exactly we were trying to shoot and what roles we were playing. The icons and abbreviations on the cards did not help either. It's just not a very good game to teach non-gamers, I think anyway. I also didn't much like the game.

Also, how likely are these regular card players willing to change? Maybe you could try Phrase 10 first then move up to more of a gamer's card game.
 
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Brad Keck
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While I like Bang! and hate Bohnanza, I think I'd have to agree that Bohnanza would probably go over better with most non-gamer families.
 
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Andrew H
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But phase 10 takes soooooooo long. Bohnanza is the best choice for all the reasons given above and Bang! could cause problems for all the reasons given above. I would second Diamant. Balloon race would be another easy non-gamer game for a pretty big group- I can't remember the max players but it is pretty good for a roll and move game.
 
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Boris Dvorkin
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Wow, I can't believe this question has gotten 15-some replies and nobody's mentioned the obvious problem. The elephant in the living room, as it were.

"Bang" jokes.

I have NEVER ONCE IN MY LIFE played a game of Bang without "I Bang you! ahhaha" jokes being made the entire game. This probably will not go over well at a multigenerational family gathering. "No, Grampa -- you can't bang Mom. What? ... No, it's not because she's in jail. There's nothing wrong with banging people in jail. It's because your barrel isn't long enough."

I feel pretty "blah" about both games. Neither one is all that exciting after a few plays. However, if you absolutely must play one of the two, your choice is clear -- Bohnanza is far and away the lesser of two evils.
 
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Torsten Winkelsträter
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While I love Bang! and would always prefer it to Bohnanza I would recommend Bohnanza to/for non-gamers. Interaction is a lot more peaceful and noone is out of the game early, plus it is fun even with 4 (3?) players unlike Bang! which is best with 6+ gunners. In addition the symbols on the Bang! cards arent that newbie-friendly.
 
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Kara Whitman
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I know how you feel, I am looking at a couple hours of Rage the family traditional game!! I am trying to convince them to play Bohnanza this year as well. we will see.
 
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Gone Fishing
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I guess my problem with those two games is that they aren't easy to explain after having eaten a pound of turkey, especially when you are talking about multi-generationally divergent interests.

I would push you more towards games that are easier to explain which pack a punch. For Sale and Wits and Wagers, and of course I always bring out royal turf for the finale.

And how the heck did I forget Liar's Dice. It's easy to go to Wal-mart or another big-box retailer and buy a ton of dice for cheap and buy some sturdy cups while you're there.
 
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Flying Arrow
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The key for Bang is to remove all but one beer card from Bang for the first few plays. Until people are comfortable enough to play with very little thinking. Most plays are obvious once you know who is who, and the beer just makes it drag on. (And remember that no beer can be played when it's down to two players.) I've never heard of a 2-hour game of Bang. One hour is a long game.
 
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Edwin Priest
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Thanks for all of the input! I will bring both games and see what people are willing, or perhaps able, to play. My initial concern was, and still is, that Bang! will overwhelm our non-gamers (my brother-in-law in particular) who sometimes cannot even keep the rules of Uno straight. I suspect that Bohnanza will likely get the people’s choice award here.

xman@pcisys.net wrote:


FWIW, when I am going to be with a group of Uno players, I bring along a copy of Uno: Attack! There's something about the russian roulette quality of this game that makes it far more fun (for me) than regular Uno, and Uno players already know how to play for the most part.

We used to play the Harry Potter version of Uno, but Uno attack is all we play now. My youngest son has always loved to put his face in front of the card shooter and see where the cards may fly. I worry about the future.
 
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Cynthia Landon
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rumble wrote:


No offense to you, your family, or your mom...but Bang! is a game about shooting people. When you shoot people, eventually someone dies.
Someone's got to die first. How can you walk into the game with this expectation and then get upset, even if you're first to be knocked out three times in a row?



Well she didn't exactly know what to expect. And she died MUCH sooner than the other people (mainly because she was the first to shoot so she was the first people would shoot back at) ... I'm not saying if she should or should not have felt that way - I am only offering one example of what happened with my family. I wouldn't want tears at anyone's Thanksgiving, you know. I'm sure Edwin knows his family well enough to know if this is a possibility.

I narrowly escaped dying before I even had one turn during one of the three games. It is very possible especially if a gatlin gun is used and you have a character with few lives. In my case my character allowed me to take on another's power but only on my turn could I choose the power - since I had not had a turn yet I was at the mercy of the other players. I sat to the right of the starting player so both the player to my left and right could of course shoot me before I even had a turn - and with a gatlin gun to boot, I didn't have a chance. Some people (I don't know how) are into this but for me any game that it is even possible for you to be eliminated before you even get a turn is not fun. I just thought I would point that out for others that feel the same way.

rumble wrote:


And EVERYONE else played the game for 2 hours? If two or more people get knocked out, they should have the opportunity/freedom to start up another game if they get bored.

Why are people targeting a single player? Why doesn't that player just take revenge next time, and take it in good stride if it backfires? (I don't need answers to these questions, but they did pop into my head.) Half of the enjoyment of Bang is kibitzing and goading/taunting the survivors. You don't need to have a hand of cards to do that.


Just like any other game.


Yes, almost everyone else lasted until the end of the game. It went on and on and on and on... it was truely horrible. They targeted her because she was the first one to shoot.... but that doesn't really matter if the person should "take it in good stride"... if they don't or can't and it ruins the evening... especially a holiday... not good. I think it is a game that can strike some people as very hostile and has the potential to leave a very bad taste in the mouth of a non-gamer, especially a somewhat sensitive one. It would be a shame since there are plenty of fun family games that do not eliminate players and cause such direct confrontation.


Just my 2 cents.
 
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Cynthia Landon
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Boarass wrote:
Wow, I can't believe this question has gotten 15-some replies and nobody's mentioned the obvious problem. The elephant in the living room, as it were.

"Bang" jokes.

I have NEVER ONCE IN MY LIFE played a game of Bang without "I Bang you! ahhaha" jokes being made the entire game. This probably will not go over well at a multigenerational family gathering. "No, Grampa -- you can't bang Mom. What? ... No, it's not because she's in jail. There's nothing wrong with banging people in jail. It's because your barrel isn't long enough."

I feel pretty "blah" about both games. Neither one is all that exciting after a few plays. However, if you absolutely must play one of the two, your choice is clear -- Bohnanza is far and away the lesser of two evils.


hahahaha I had forgotten about this. Yes, it also came up in our game (which consisted of my brothers, their wives, my boyfriend and our parents). Some nervous laughter and then we moved on. But it was a little funny.
 
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JessA
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Now you have to give us the report, what you played and how it went over!
 
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